This is the horrific moment a white SUV allegedly driven by an Afghan immigrant ice addict ‘deliberately’ ploughed through a crowd of shoppers in Melbourne’s city centre during the afternoon peak hour rush.
Confronting CCTV footage, obtained by 7 News, shows the Suzuki Grand Vitara four-wheel drive pull away from traffic and speed directly into unsuspecting pedestrians outside busy Flinders Street Station.
Shocked bystanders can be seen pointing in disbelief on the street as dozens of people – including a young boy and an 83-year-old man – are mowed down by the rampaging driver.
Witnesses claim the car reached speeds of up to 100km/hr, although the incident ended 15 seconds later when it slammed into a tram stop bollard and a hero off-duty officer dragged the driver from the mangled car.
The driver behind the wheel of the SUV, with P-plates, has been identified by the The Herald Sun as 32-year-old Saeed Noori.
Confronting CCTV footage captures the moment a SUV ploughs through a crowd of shoppers in Melbourne’s city centre
The alleged driver, named by the Herald Sun as 32-year-old Afghan immigrant Saeed Noori, was pulled to the gutter away from the vehicle moments after it collided with a tram stop bollard
An off-duty police officer (circled) has been praised for wrestling with Noori just 15 seconds after he crashed this Suzuki Grand Vitara four-wheel drive into a bollard outside Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station during peak hour
The injured off-duty police officer who arrested Noori was hailed a hero after footage revealed him wrestling the Afghan immigrant to the ground moments after he crashed.
As the gallant officer recovered in hospital from a shoulder injury, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews praised the hero for rushing into the SUV just 15 seconds after it crashed into a bollard – which he described as ‘an act of evil’
‘The off-duty arresting officer, a member of Victoria police, who was prime in terms of detaining the alleged offender did suffer some injuries and is receiving hospital treatment,’ he told reporters.
‘We would be right to single him out for special praise for the way in which he instinctively came to the aid of others in the protection of public order and potentially avoiding so much other carnage.’
The 4.41pm carnage on the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth streets injured 19 people, four critically – only 11 months after six people, including a three-month-old boy, were killed in an eerily similar rampage on nearby Bourke Street just four blocks away.
The latest injury toll included a four-year-old boy with head injuries, who remains in a stable condition, and an 83-year-old man, with the other wounded bystanders aged between 25 and 58.
Witnesses claim the car reached speeds of up to 100km/hr, although the incident ended 15 seconds later when it slammed into a bollard
The off-duty police officer (pictured wearing a white shirt) sustained a shoulder injury as he arrested the 32-year-old driver
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the carnage would have been much worse if it wasn’t for the quick-thinking police
The lone wolf driver was an Australian citizen from Afghanistan, who was known to police.
He remains under police guard at hospital with shoulder and hand injuries, after being dragged from the Suzuki by two uniformed police officers.
Victoria Police said the driver has a history of drug use, mental health problems and a criminal history with a minor assault in 2010.
According to the Herald Sun, the driver is an ice-addict who sources claim missed a medical appointment on the day of the ‘deliberate attack’.
More than a dozen pedestrians, including a toddler, have been injured after a car ploughed into rush hour crowds (pictured)
Paramedics at the scene were holding up tarps around the injured (pictured) who lay on the tram tracks of the busy street
Chaotic scenes unfolded during peak-hour as the white SUV crashed into the group of panicked pedestrians (pictured)
19 people were injured (one pictured) and taken to hospitals across Melbourne and four of them are in critical conditions
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Thursday night the ‘horrific act’ was targeted against ‘innocent bystanders’ (pictured)
Victoria Police will remain at the scene through the night until at least Friday morning as they investigate (pictured)
Usually a busy strip in the heart of the city, Flinders Street has become a crime scene (pictured) after the car ploughed crowds
A second 24-year-old man, who was carrying a bag containing three knives, was arrested but police believe he had no link to the incident.
‘Clarity on the second offender that is in custody, it has not yet been determined whether he was involved, and it is quite probable he was not,’ Acting Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters.
This 24-year-old man, who was wearing a red checked shirt, was seen filming the rampage.
The crash injured 19 people, including the driver and the heroic off-duty police officer.
Five men, aged 25, 40, 43, 45 and 83 and six women, aged 25, 30, 35, 47 and 58, were among the victims.
Another three men and two women were injured but their ages are unknown.
Victoria Police believe the incident had no terror link with no political motive so far established.
‘We do not have any evidence to a connection with terrorism,’ Acting Commissioner Patton said.
‘At this stage we believe it is a deliberate act, however we do not know the motivation.’
Two men were arrested at the scene after the white SUV (pictured) crashed into a bollard at Flinders Street Station
Victoria’s Labor Premier Daniel Andrews said the rampage was an ‘horrific act’ which targeted ‘innocent bystanders’.
‘What occurred on Flinders Street this afternoon was an act of evil and an act of cowardice,’ he said on Thursday night. ‘This is a terrible, evil, cowardly act.
‘At a time of the year when so many families are celebrating the end of they year, doing their Christmas shopping … we have seen a horrific act.’
Footage shows one of the men in a white shirt with a beard being pulled to the gutter away from the vehicle.
The second man in a red checked shirt, also with a beard, was arrested a short time later.
A witness described seeing the car hurtling towards the crowd.
‘It just mowed everybody down, people were flying everywhere,’ she told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
‘We heard thump, thump. People are running everywhere.’
Dramatic footage shows a number of injured pedestrians being treated by passers-by as they wait for paramedics.
Victoria Police dragged the man in a white shirt (pictured) from the white Suzuki to the gutter shortly after the incident
Footage shows the damaged car surrounded by dozens of injured pedestrians while police arrest one man (pictured)
The second man in a red checked shirt, also with a beard (pictured), was arrested but police say he is not linked to the incident
Dozens of people were hit by the car with witnesses saying they saw the car doing burnouts before the incident
A witness told Nine News they thought the car was travelling at about 60km/h as it drove into busy crowds (pictured)
The white Suzuki SUV (pictured) was forced to stop its rampage when it crashed into a bollard near Flinders Street Station
A car crashed into the crowds at Melbourne ‘s Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street (pictured) causing dramatic scenes
Ambulance Victoria said paramedics were called to the scene (pictured) at 4.41pm Thursday and several are critical
Vince Harris, the manager of the Freechoice tobacconist at Flinders Street Station, was nearby in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
He was on the scene from about two minutes after the car collided and could see the cracked windscreen and Good Samaritans trying to save injured pedestrians.
‘A few ladies were screaming but it was calm – there were no sirens, nothing,’ Mr Harris said.
‘I was here when the other one (the Bourke Street tragedy) happened …. you get desensitised.’
Irish demolition worker Paul Cahalane, 25, was walking to the gym – and en route to picking up some chocolate milk – via Flinders Street when he heard what sounded like a bomb.
‘I was just going to get chocolate milk and I had my headphones in, music playing, scrolling Instagram when I just heard a bang, a bang behind me,’ Mr Cahalane told Daily Mail Australia.
Another witness Lachlan Vella told Fairfax Media he saw a man dressed in a suit with his ‘head busted open’ as he was lying on the ground.
Mr Vella said another man ‘had blood around his head and was snoring, like atonal breathing,’ as a woman came in and out of consciousness.
Paul Cahalane, an Irish demolition worker on a visa, described hearing a bang behind him as he was walking to the gym
Vince Harris, the manager of the Freechoice tobacconist at Flinders Street Station, was near the crash aftermath (pictured)
The heart of Melbourne’s CBD is in lock down after the car ploughed down a number of shoppers and commuters (pictured)
19 people were taken to hospital including a pre-school aged child with serious head injuries who is now in stable condition
‘At this stage we believe it is a deliberate act, however we do not know the motivation,’ Commander Russell Barrett (pictured) said
Police locked down vast areas of the city taking in Flinders Street, Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street (pictured)
One witness’s husband told Daily Mail Australia his wife was taken to Melbourne West with other onlookers to be interviewed
A number of injured were taken to the The Alfred Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital including the driver of the car (pictured) and a police officer
One witness’s husband told Daily Mail Australia his wife had been taken to Melbourne West with other onlookers to be interviewed.
Police have locked down vast areas of the city taking in Flinders Street, Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street.
A child at pre-school suffered head injuries and was taken to the Royal Children’s Hospital in a serious condition.
Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital but the extent of the injuries are unknown.
Witnesses told 9 News they saw the white SUV being driven at about 60km/h before it smashed into dozens of pedestrians.
Another witness told 3AW there were about ‘five to seven people laying on the ground’.
More could have been injured if not for the vehicle crashing into a bollard at the tram stop out the front of Flinders Street Station.
Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital
Police said the driver of the car and a second man were arrested after what they believe was a ‘deliberate’ attack in the CBD
A child at pre-school suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Royal Children’s Hospital (white SUV pictured)
More could have been injured if the white Suzuki did not crash into a bollard after about ’15 seconds’ of trauma
Lachlan Read, 20, told The Herald Sun the whole rampage lasted about 15 seconds.
‘He has gone straight through the red light at pace and it was bang, bang, bang. It was just one after the other,’ Mr Read said.
‘There were bodies on the ground and people running up to them – it was mayhem.’
A childcare centre and other buildings along Flinders Street were evacuated.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the federal and state security agencies would work together to investigate the ‘shocking incident’.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the emergency and health workers who are treating them,’ Mr Turnbull tweeted.
The carnage comes almost a year after six people were killed and 30 injured when a car ploughed through the Bourke Street Mall only a few blocks away.
The driver, Dimitrious Gargasoulas, was charged with six counts of murder after he allegedly used a maroon mid-1990s Holden Commodore sedan to run down shoppers during their summer lunch break.
A child and two adults were amoung those who died following the attack as well as a three-month-old baby boy.
A childcare centre and other buildings along Flinders Street were evacuated shortly after the incident Thursday
A witness told Melbourne’s 3AW radio station there were about ‘five to seven people laying on the ground’ (pictured)
‘People were flying everywhere … people running everywhere’ a witness told the 3AW radio station on Thursday (pictured)
Police said Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street have been closed off as a crime scene while investigations continue
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